Behind the scenes of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade started back in 1924, but it's still bringing Americans together for a shared cultural experience that delights both young and old. Susan Tercero, executive producer of the parade, joins Retail Gets Real to share how it all comes together and what it means to Macy's.

The modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade leverages new software and social media platforms to streamline the planning process and create digital experiences that bring the parade’s story to life for fans online.

Parade Fun Facts
  • 3.5 million spectators in New York
  • 50 million broadcast viewers
  • 8,000 participants
  • 50,000 hours of labor from Macy's Parade Studio

Learn more about the Macy's Parade Studio design and production team.


“There are huge benefits, especially for us when we're building a float,” Tercero says. “We have a two-dimensional design that turns into a three-dimensional design on a software program where we're able to really see all sides of a float, really get into the small, intricate details of that float. Now, we’re able to actually ... print this model out so I can hand it off to the fabricators, to the sculptors, who are then going to look at that model and say, ‘OK, that's exactly what I need to be looking at from this angle, this angle and this angle,’ as opposed to just working off a two-dimensional drawing and guessing."

Listen to the full podcast to learn how Macy’s employees started the first parade, the origins of the iconic parade balloons we see today and how planning the parade has evolved over the past 95 years.

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